Justin and Cynthia Loeb, owners of Elote Mexican Kitchen and Oliva Italian Eatery in Fort Worth, Texas, know a thing or two about getting through tough times.
Justin graduated college and headed into the telecommunications field around the turn of the millennium, just as the telecoms crash hit the stock market. He moved to New York City and opened a
wine shop instead, where he met his wife, a restaurant professional.
The pair moved to Fort Worth to be closer to Cynthia’s family and bought a local, struggling full-service restaurant – right as the financial crisis devastated Texas in 2008.
Despite the economic downturn, the Loebs built themselves a stellar reputation at Oliva Italian Eatery, and a few years later expanded their local footprint with Elote Mexican Kitchen, a fast-casual restaurant. The secret, according to Justin Loeb, is to anticipate what guests want and provide it before they demand it.
“You can’t wait for people to come to you, you have to go to them. Whether it’s social media or the email blasts, whatever you can do, it’s being proactive instead of reactive,” Loeb explained.
The Loebs themselves got into online ordering at Elote when a large fast food chain opened nearby. The couple anticipated competition for younger guests’ business, and quickly saw the need for technology solutions, which led them to launch online ordering and email marketing with Paytronix Online Ordering.
With social distancing advisories in place, tasks as simple as going to the grocery store have become challenging. This has pushed many consumers toward grocery delivery services to minimize contact with others, but now those are inundated and many are on long waiting lists.
The team at the 44-store Little Greek Fresh Grill chain stepped up with a solution when they noticed that many of their guests were struggling to find basic goods. […]
As everyone focuses on the new realities of takeout and delivery, it’s important that brands have the tools they need to identify and target those loyal guests who are most likely to purchase through the new ordering channels.
That’s why we rolled out two new filters that enable marketers to find just those who either missed recent visits or have an online ordering history. It’s a way to identify the right people and help drive much-needed revenue.
Behind the Paytronix platform lies artificial intelligence that offers visibility into customers’ individual actions. This means we can understand an individual’s visit cadence. For a coffee shop or C-store patron, that rate might be once a day. For a pizza store, it might be once a week. And for a fine dining restaurant, it might be once every two months. The new Paytronix missed visit score informs you whenever that rate changes so that you can adjust your outreach accordingly.
Communication with guests is always important, but during times of change, transition or challenge, it’s paramount. With so many businesses having to totally rethink their standard approach due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the Paytronix team has compiled a list of communication best practices.
This is a scary time for everyone – including your guests. Make sure they know you’re a brand they can trust by being transparent about your operational changes, safety precautions, and closures or new operating hours.
Just about every brand out there is sending messages conveying what they’re doing to mitigate the virus’ spread, so ask yourself what information you really need to share. For example, everyone is washing their hands more now, so focus instead on what your brand is doing differently that will foster a sense of comfort and trust in your guests. That can be as simple as telling guests you’re closing down in the interest of their health as HuHot Mongolian Grill did.
As a rule of thumb show an awareness of the struggle many people are going through, welcome feedback from your guests, even if it means asking for it, and above all, stay true to your brand.
Keep your guests informed
If you’ve shut down operations, make sure your guests know about it, and be sure to explain why. Consider adding a footer to your emails or a banner on your website to keep them updated about closures and plans to reopen.
If you’re still open, remind your guests of your hours, which locations are in operation, and how they can place an order. Prioritize online ordering with hyperlinks or banners on your site. Make sure they are in a bold, obvious place, and consider giving discounts or double rewards points for takeout and delivery orders.
Be sure to let guests know about any additional services you’ve added to minimize contact, like contactless delivery or curbside pick-up. If you have a dynamic concept, consider how you can continue to provide value in nontraditional ways. Host, a company that offers bartenders for hire, has pivoted to sending regular “Drink of the Week” cocktail recipes to its subscribers via email. They’re still providing a service while tailoring their approach to fit within social distancing guidelines.[…]
Turn customer engagement into meaningful guest experiences.